Welcome to the latest installment of This Week in Tech, where we focus on SEO, SEM, and every other acronym in between. Just in time for Halloween, the theme of this week’s installment is FEAR. First, Facebook is terrifying the competition with a quietly released app, even if it is only for Workplace users. Second, Google announced a major change that has AdWords users screaming in fright. And, finally, we will revisit an Apple update that left online marketers equal parts afraid and angry.
It’s been a busy week, so let’s dive in.
Facebook Announces New Workplace App
Zuck is back at it – striking fear into the hearts of his competitors while raking in that sweet Facebook cash. The tech juggernaut recently released PC and Mac desktop chat apps that come complete with screen sharing functionality – a feature users have been requesting for quite some time now. Currently, this feature is only available for Workplace, Facebook’s enterprise collaboration software that charges businesses between $1 to $3 per user.
From various reports across the interwebs, the screen sharing feature is available for both the standalone app as well as on the web. It also establishes an important level of privacy, allowing users to share a specific app alone, similar to conferencing software Zoom.
You can find out more by visiting our friends at TechCrunch.
Google Changes Up Your Daily AdWords Budget
It’s always a little frightening whenever Google announces a major change, especially for those of us who come from the SEO community. While pandas and penguins may warm the hearts of many, just hearing their names is enough to raise the blood pressure of even the most seasoned SEO vet. Luckily, this week didn’t see an animal-themed algorithmic update. Instead, it was a Google AdWords announcement that elicited panic in advertisers, and all it took was one poorly conceived tweet.
On October 4th, Google revealed that “To help you hit your advertising goals, your campaigns can now spend up to twice your average daily budget.” The tweet failed to mention that your monthly charging limit, which they determine by multiplying the average number of days in a month by your average daily budget. And, although little has actually changed about how the program operates, it did prove for some pretty entertaining posts.
This might be our favorite.
For the full story, check out Search Engine Land.
Apple Scares the Hell Out of Advertisers
Okay, so this story isn’t technically new, but it did receive a bit of a resurgence when Fast Company published an article this week entitled, “Apple Sends the Ad Industry Scrambling to Preserve Web Tracking.” While alarming, the title is actually fairly accurate, and it all centers around the tracking codes that are so near and dear to us marketers.
A new feature in Apple’s recently rolled out version of Safari web browser seeks to limit cross-site tracking, where ad networks can monitor user behavior form site to site. Although, the feature has been praised by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, online marketers and advertisers are understandably tweaked.
Many industry groups, including the Interactive Advertising Bureau and the American Advertising Federation, let Apple know their thoughts in a strongly worded open letter that argued Apple was hurting not only campaign targeting, but also user experience. Here is an excerpt:
“Apple’s unilateral and heavy-handed approach is bad for consumer choice and bad for the ad-supported online content and services consumers love. Blocking cookies in this manner will drive a wedge between brands and their customers, and it will make advertising more generic and less timely and useful. Put simply, machine-driven cookie choices do not represent user choice; they represent browser-manufacturer choice.”
H/T Fast Company
That’s all for this week, but stay tuned for our next update!
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